Level of difficulty 2
Prep time 30-60 minutes

Ingredients List


  • 1 1/2 cups – graham cracker crumbs (1 package)
  • 1 cup – chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon – lemon peel, finely chopped
  • 1/2 – stick butter, melted


  • 3 – large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 3 – (8 oz.) packages Neufchatel cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup – agave syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons – vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup – cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon – lemon peel, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup – low-fat sour cream, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350º F. Place two racks in the oven; the top for the cheesecake and the bottom for a water bath (2 inches of warm water in a roasting pan).

To prepare the crust:
Combine crumbs, nuts and lemon peel. Stir in butter until thoroughly blended. Press mixture firmly against bottom of 9″ springform pan or a 10” round cake pan lined with parchment paper.

To prepare the filling:
In a medium bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy. Gradually add agave syrup; blend. Add vanilla, cornstarch and lemon peel. Blend well. Add egg yolks, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat at medium speed for 5 minutes, until nice and smooth. Fold in the sour cream. Fold in egg whites. Pour all into the springform pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes until cheesecake is lightly browned on the edges. Turn off the oven and leave cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour with door closed. After 1 hour, open door slightly and leave in oven for a further 10 minutes more. Remove cheesecake and allow to cool in pan for an additional hour.

Place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 3 hours. Remove from springform pan before serving.